56th Cork International Choral Festival 2010

I can hardly believe that the May bank holiday and the Cork International Choral Festival is upon us once again but it is and what a weekend it’s going to be!

The festival is in it’s 56th year and runs from Wednesday to Sunday next with a huge variety of choral styles and performances from all over the world taking part. A few weeks ago one or two people who were interested in going along this year asked me to give a heads up for what I think are the highlights and events worth going along to so now that the programme is out and tickets on sale here’s my quick guide to the cream of the crop for 2010:

Opening Gala Concert – A Tribute to Aloys Fleischmann

When: Wednesday 28th April 2010, 8pm, City Hall, Cork

Volalists from Cork (Fleischmann Choir) and Dachau (Liedertafel)  join forces with the Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra for a spectacular performance at City Hall as part of the continuing Fleischmann Centenary celebrations. Read more about the programme here.


When: Thursday 29th April 2010, 8pm, City Hall

Scala are a 200-strong girls choir (ranging in age from 16 to 26) from Belgium who have gained huge popularity since their foundation by the Kolacny brothers in 1996. What started out as some vocal experimentation has given the choir a huge international reputation and fame as one of the world’s most popular “rock choirs”. The last time that Scala performed in Ireland was at the 2006 festival so don’t miss out on your opportunity to hear this wonderful contemporary, edgy and youthful sound!

The National Chamber Choir of Ireland : To Music

When: Friday 30th April 2010, 7.30pm, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

One of the country’s most distinguished and highly regarded choirs The National Chamber Choir of Ireland are attending this year’s festival as the Choir in Residence. They will be performing ‘To Music’ – the first of two cathedral shows on the bill for Friday evening – in the beautiful surroundings of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral. The programme will also feature two world première performances. More information on the evening’s repertoire is available here.

Evocations: Anuna

When: Friday 30th April, 10.30pm at the Cathedral of St. Mary & St. Anne (North Cathedral), Cork

One of Ireland’s most celebrated and internationally successful choirs will be giving the second of the cathedral performances on Friday night when they perform ‘Evocations’ – a collection of medieval and Celtic song.

Fleischmann International Trophy Competition

Where: Saturday 1st May, 3pm & 8pm, City Hall, Cork

At the heart of the festival is the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition which is held in two parts on Saturday. The competition this year will feature choirs from Norway, The Philippines, Finland, The Czech Republic, Germany, Singapore, Japan and Ireland! If that doesn’t guarantee a fantastic array of choral performances and styles I don’t know what will! The Choir in Residence (The National Chamber Choir of Ireland) will also be performing on the day along with other international choirs. You can hear samples of each choir in action as well as review the running order of both heats of the competition here.

Closing Gala Concert

Where: Sunday 2nd May 2010, 8pm, City Hall, Cork

This event is probably the most fun, entertaining and enjoyable of all the programme as the choirs and conductors relax and let their hair down after with competition now behind them. Last year’s closing concert featured some of the most jaw-dropping choral performances I have ever heard so fingers crossed that this year will be  just as spectacular. Find out more about who is taking part here.

So there you have it – my recommendations for a busy choral weekend in Cork city. There’s absolutely loads of events including public performances, seminars and workshops on all over Cork city and the suburbs so take a look at the day by day guide here to see what’s on.

Go grab your tickets so you don’t end up disappointed & hopefully see you there!

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